Pregnancy can be a stressful time at the best of times, and you should be thinking about your future as a parent rather than some gum infection. Unfortunately, hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase the risk of certain oral diseases.
What is pregnancy gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an infectious gum disease that can affect anyone. Pregnancy gingivitis affects pregnant women and can simply be caused by hormonal changes. This infection most commonly develops between months 2 and 8 and affects 60%-70% of pregnant women. This infection causes your gums to swell and/or bleed. This causes brushing your teeth to be very painful.
- Swollen gums
- Tender, puffy gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Red gums
- Bad breath
- A considerable amount of blood and pain
How to prevent:
- Simple oral hygiene
The best and easiest way to prevent this is to simply brush your teeth twice a day, every day, and floss your teeth once a day--just like how you've been doing the entirety of your life. If your gums are already tender when brushing, switch to a brush with softer bristles. There’s no harm in that. Brushing your teeth twice a day could help reduce the chances of getting gingivitis, but it could also help reverse the infection as well.
- Eat healthier
When you were a kid, your parents or guardian always yelled at you for eating too much sugar because it was bad for your teeth. The same thing applies here. Sugar attacks your teeth and raises the risk for cavities and other oral diseases. Make sure you’re eating a healthier diet consisting of fruits and vegetables. Try choosing water over other drinks like soda and juices that coat your teeth in sugar.
- Gargle with sea salt
This one may sound weird, but salt actually can fight against certain infections. Salt reduces inflammation and helps to heal your gums. Get a water cup from your cupboard and cover the bottom of it with sea salt (not table salt) and add warm water. Wait until the salt dissolves in the water before swishing it around in your mouth. Make sure to spit it out afterward as salt water is not fun to swallow. Do this at least once a day, but you can do it more than once if infection is too bad.
If nothing you do is working, then go visit your dentist. They may have better solutions to your problem since they are professionals. They may prescribe your oral antibiotics or give you prescription-strength mouthwash that helps with gum diseases. If you’re noticing symptoms of gingivitis, make sure you go as soon as possible--not only to relieve any pain you have but also to make sure your baby isn’t affected. Once this infection gets to a certain stage, it can spread to your bones and affect your baby, causing increased risk of preterm birth or low birth weight. Your job is to give birth to a happy and healthy baby, not be burdened by some infection.